Construction Industry Trends: Health, Safety, Money, and More

Construction Industry Trends

Last year was interesting, to put it mildly. But 2021 is shaping up to be a different kind of interesting. Here are some construction industry trends that will very likely affect your business this year.

5 Post-Pandemic Construction Industry Trends That Will Impact Your Business

  1. Air handling – Is Covid-19 an airborne virus? It doesn’t matter; almost every project will involve designing/installing better air management solutions. You’ll be required to learn more about dedicated outdoor and on-demand air systems, says construction legal professional Jeffrey Kozek.
  2. Going green – If, in your blogs and marketing materials, you can say you’re “LEED-certified,” you’ve got a leg up on your competition. Green construction focuses on environmental and human health, a trend that will be even more significant this year.
  3. Money matters – Supply chain delays, materials shortages and pricing, and other pandemic-related financial issues, will lead to more payment disputes this year. Contractors and owners will be doing damage control because of bankruptcies and interrupted projects from last year.
  4. More modular – Offsite assembly reduces workforce exposure and increases safety. Expect prefabricated construction processes to increase and continue to improve quality control.
  5. Pandemic protection – On-the-job distancing, staggering shifts, and PPE (personal protection equipment) will continue to impact your budget and timeline. Kozek says ignoring these safety precautions could lead to fines, shutdowns, or lawsuits.

Challenges Don’t Have To Be Complicated

One of our construction industry trends that is (and should be) history was our tendency to conclude business expectations with a handshake. Back when the pandemic was new, Construction Monitor advised its clients to make a more concerted effort to “get it in writing” to avoid complications. That’s our “legal” advice for 2021 and beyond.

Construction Monitor takes the complexity out of construction data for thousands of construction industry companies like yours. The basic information is easy: building permit applications. Making that information work for you to generate more business and make knowledgeable decisions is complicated. But that’s what we do.

Contact us to learn how building permit information can reveal construction industry trends in your state, county, city, or town.

How AI Helps Our Construction Industry

construction industry AI

Artificial intelligence is enhancing construction industry infrastructure deliverables by providing valuable – and possibly life-saving – insights. The American Society of Civil Engineers recently learned more than 56,000 bridges in the United States are structurally deficient.

One technology firm is using AI to watchdog bridge issues before they can take hold. It provides “actionable intelligence” for construction industry personnel by providing instant alerts if there are irregularities.

Risk Mitigation for Your Construction Industry Organization

Optimizing work schedules is one of the most common ways construction industry managers utilize artificial intelligence. But risk mitigation is perhaps more valuable.

Using machine learning, organizations are able to spot and catch potential issues faster than humans. When it comes to scheduling, the use of advanced AI can help to prevent costly delays on sites or amongst suppliers, vendors, and others involved in the process.Forbes

One way jobsite supervisors use AI is for what-if scenarios. It can forecast potentials for problems and then devise strategies to manage them.

AI-enabled systems can provide jobsite security for equipment and employees. Facial recognition can spot unsafe behavior among workers and monitor tool theft.

Traditional analytics are entering a new realm of possibilities. Artificial intelligence will drive the next generation of construction industry management.

Can AI Help Our Dwindling Workforce?

The construction industry is facing a workforce shortage and talent crisis. AI can “identify potential leaders, predict attrition rates, or identify employees in danger of leaving,” says a recent McKinsey study. You can make data-driven decisions to drive better human resources management.

Data-Driven Decisions for Construction Industry Successes

Construction Monitor is the leading resource for construction industry leads. But if you don’t use it, you’ll lose it. Opportunities, that is.

Make this year the year you tighten your business operations and chase every opportunity. Forge new relationships. Mentor startups and seek guidance from larger, successful organizations.

Use Construction Monitor data for:

  • Current jobs
  • Future projects
  • Historical trends
  • Your competitors’ market shares

Don’t let another week pass without making data-driven decisions to increase profits. Contact Construction Monitor.

The Construction Industry and Coronavirus Vaccine

Construction Industry and Coronavirus Vaccine

It’s good to be king. But if you aren’t royalty, being an essential worker is right up there. We may never be able to adequately thank medical professionals for their sacrifices in 2020. Prioritizing them for 2021 COVID vaccinations is one way.

21 million healthcare workers and 3 million residents and staff of long-term care facilities receive the first limited supplies of COVID-19 vaccines during what’s known as Phase 1a of distribution. But essential workers were presented as potential recipients in the next tier, Phase 1b…CDC Plan

Construction industry essential workers are likely next in line. This can be a blessing for project managers or a bane for individuals that don’t want the vaccine. Either way, it will need careful consideration before implementation.

Can the Construction Industry Require Vaccination as a Condition of Employment?

In October 2020, the Associated General Contractors of America lobbied President Trump and now President-Elect Biden to implement a national plan for the construction industry distribution of coronavirus vaccine.

Construction industry contractors are already scrambling to enforce distancing and exposure tracking – and thanks to technology, this is possible. But can a construction industry project owner or contractor require coronavirus vaccination as a condition of employment?

Legally, probably not. The jury’s still out, so to speak.

Some attorneys recommend contractors be “aggressive” in encouraging vaccination by offering free jobsite inoculations during work-hours. Mandating medical personnel receive the coronavirus vaccine may be considered necessary and it makes sense. “You can’t operate a hospital with half your staff is infected,” said attorney Kevin Troutman.

You can’t build hospitals when half your construction workforce is infected, either.

Essential Business Information for Essential Workers

When Construction Monitor data professionals enter construction project leads into our database, the basic information – building permit applications – becomes usable, relevant analyses for your organization. It takes us several hours to refine and customize the information into what you need.

We do that for every subscriber. It saves you time and time is money. Most importantly, you can use that information to develop connections, leads, and make money. Contact us today.

The 3 Ps of Construction Digital Transformation

Construction Digital Transformation

Construction Monitor sorts building permit data into actionable information for your area and your business development requirements. We are proud to have been a part of digital technology for the construction industry and industry-related businesses for so many years. Our software statistics were some companies’ first experience with the construction digital transformation process.

How Do We Go About Achieving Construction Digital Transformation?

Some people still don’t understand what construction digital transformation means or what it can accomplish. Digital technology is any electronic tool, system, device, or resource that generates, stores, or processes data.

These three p’s can help you understand and develop a construction digital transformation plan for your business:

1. People

Our industry depends on people working together. This is why transparency – information-sharing with everyone involved – is integral to construction digital transformation success. Before investing in any technology, consider who must adapt to it and use it, and then get their feedback before the purchase:

  • 52% say field staff needs are a top priority but only
  • 28% request feedback, so
  • 36% report the technology didn’t fit with current processes/procedures

2. Process

Our processes are what lead to productivity issues. Implementing construction digital transformation has resulted in 14-15% productivity improvements and 4-6% cost reductions. Process change enablers include:

  • Capability enhancements
  • Contract reviews
  • Data tools
  • Legal liabilities and responsibilities defined/updated
  • Redefined responsibilities
  • Updated processes/mandates

3. Progress

Technology is progress. Every technological process you embrace moves your company forward. Technology progress requires fixing problems, not investing in the IT flavor of the month without understanding its capabilities. “Full-scale digital transformation requires integrated, cohesive systems,” says CTO Sameer Merchant. The bottom line is, analyze what will provide your team with the best advancements.

Construction Monitor: Powerful, Local Construction Statistics

Every week, we enter thousands of construction project leads into our database. You can learn more about commercial, residential, and solar construction projects in your area when you get your sample edition today.

Construction Industry Recovery for 2021

Construction Industry Recovery

When will it end? As we rounded the corner into 4Q 2020, COVID-19 reared its ugly head and roared with a vengeance. The devastation to families and businesses, including the construction industry, continues.

Pandemic and Construction Industry Trends

Many construction industry firms have provided support for area hospitals and organizations during this time. If your company is in a position to help your community, thank you. But more of us are suffering. “Most sites that are open have faced disrupted supply chains and operational restrictions,” says McKinsey. “A fast return to business as usual seems unlikely.”

Depending on economic and public health policies, we could be doing well next year. Or it could be 2023 before we are back on track.

Short-term construction industry trends are:

  • Increased digitization – Working remotely has forced construction industry organizations to invest in shared software solutions. More information shared by more people is a good thing. Monitoring employee health and safety using apps is going to be necessary for quite some time.
  • Materials reorganization – Building inventory to rebalance supply chain disruptions is necessary.

Long-term construction industry trends include:

  • Increased digitization – Skilled labor shortages can be better managed with increased productivity. Invest in software apps for:
    • 4D simulation
    • Advanced schedule optimization
    • Real-time progress tracking
    • Workflow management
  • Offsite construction – Building/assemblage offsite is faster and safer because environments are more controlled.
  • Sustainability – Healthier living will be a key motivator behind government programs/incentives for the construction industry.

Building Permit Data for Better Business

Construction Monitor provides vital information for construction industry companies, but many others use building permit data as well:

  • Investors – Opportunities for financial growth are all over the place right now. That means you have options for investment in many geographic areas and industries. Building permit data gives you the information you need to make choices.
  • Marketing, software companies – The construction industry is experiencing change like never before. There’s potential for you to help them succeed with your products and services.
  • Startups – Protecting your investment in tough economic times is a priority. Stay abreast of state and local infrastructure and housing developments before your competitors.

Contact Construction Monitor today. We’d like to give you a powerful tool for business success in 2021.

Construction Trends to Drive Infrastructure Development

Construction Trends

Annually, the U.S. spends around $450 billion on infrastructure, only 2.3% of U.S GDP, far below the 5% of European countries’ GDPs. The U.S. needs over $2 trillion of infrastructure investment by 2030 just to keep pace with the country’s economic activity.
Kate Gasparro

COVID-19 has dominated our attention for an entire year. It gave us previously unheard-of challenges in the construction industry. It forced us to work differently; maybe forever.

The pandemic may have also drawn attention away from some critical problems our country was facing, including this one: The U.S. is falling behind developed countries in infrastructure spending.

Technology Key to U.S. Lagging Infrastructure Construction Trends

If infrastructure investment could increase, its positive impact on our economy and the construction industry would make for a much happier new year. Infrastructure industries include:

  • Architecture
  • Construction
  • Engineering
  • Real estate

Gasparro says investment in technologies could increase infrastructure project profits by 10%. Here’s what we need more of for 2021:

  • Climate-change and pandemic impacts on construction trends – Be prepared to develop:
    • Car-free zones
    • Dedicated bike paths
    • Larger public spaces
    • Renewable energy sources
    • Wider sidewalks
  • Construction technology – Construction trends are technology-driven with:
    • 3D printing/blueprints
    • 4D/5D simulation project plans
    • Building information modeling (BIM)
    • Drone surveying
    • Materials tracking software
    • …and much, much more
  • Organizational technology – Construction trends toward energy conservation, economic growth, and societal safety are being incorporated into construction industry best practices. Jobsite management will use software to see where workers and materials are, real-time, and avoid potential health exposures or materials logjams.
  • Supply chain solutions – It’s time to rebuild inventory and secure materials. Examine supplier sources to find alternatives to critical material shortages.

Staying in business isn’t easy when it’s a jungle out there. But you can cut through the tangle of obstacles and setbacks with the right strategy. Construction Monitor has been in business since 1989. We haven’t seen it all, but we’ve seen a lot of construction trends come and go.

Ask us how we can give you the data tools you need to get beyond survival and into profits. Contact Construction Monitor today.

Construction Workforce Management: Digitization

Construction Workforce Management

There’s no company in any industry that has succeeded without spreadsheets. Let’s briefly pause to say, “Bless you, Excel. You’ve served us well.” But spreadsheets are not the answer to construction workforce management. As working-at-home and the need for social distancing continues into 4Q 2020, digitizing construction workforce management is even more necessary.

Say goodbye to your monthly/weekly spreadsheets. You need up-to-date information when and where it’s needed.

Stop Supervising and Start Managing

Technology has become a bridge for overcoming the distance
of a team working remotely.
Ben Schultz

Spreadsheets encourage us to work alone. Digitization forces us to collaborate, share, and communicate. And that’s the best way to manage your business. About 90% of all spreadsheets have errors serious enough to trigger:

  • Faulty forecasting
  • Labor shortages
  • Overruns

Because your team is mobile, you need to be able to access information from anywhere, anytime. Your project site personnel should be able to quickly access the same analytics available to your accounts payable/receivable professional working from their home office. And you don’t want statistics that apply to your construction workforce management situation 10 days ago.

You can manage the following using shareable, intuitive, cloud-based construction workforce management software in real-time:

  • Accounting
  • Employees
    • Availability
    • Certification
    • Current wage
    • Location
  • Time-tracking

Ask other successful companies what kind of cloud-based software they recommend. But remember – what works for their organization may not be a good fit for your team.

Getting Started: How To ‘Digitize’

Review and prioritize your organization’s pain points, which may include:

  • Information-sharing delays between the project site and office
  • Inefficient performance measurements/management
  • Insufficient risk management
  • Paper documents – who has what/where
  • Project planning getting more complex

Whatever paper forms you use most often should be the first you digitize.

If employee retention is among your construction workforce management goals, digitization increases mobile workforce efficiency. “Mobile” forms work on mobile devices – like cellphones – which make it convenient for workforce management teams.

We Digitize; You Analyze

Construction Monitor has only one digitization goal: To provide profit-generating information relevant to your organization. We will breakdown the data to the location, sector, and industry-specific area(s) your business wants to develop.

Call 800.925.6085 (International/435.586.1205) or contact us today.

Exoskeletons Address 4 Construction Industry Pain Points

Construction Industry Pain Points

One in every 10 construction workers is injured annually…construction sees non-fatal injury rates that are 71% higher than any other industry. How Powered Exoskeletons Can Alleviate…

Labor shortages and injuries have hit our industry hard in 2020. While many companies are just getting powered-up using software solutions that save time and money, others are looking at hardware possibilities.

In the animal kingdom, an exoskeleton is a type of shell that protects an animal’s body. Snails and shrimp are good examples of species with exoskeletons. In the construction industry, exoskeletons are wearable technology. They may become – in reality – lifesavers for construction companies.

4 Construction Industry Challenges

Ten years ago, the concept was material for science fiction. But the exoskeleton market for the construction industry is expected to exceed $11.5 billion 10 years from now.

Mechanical and electrical exoskeletons support:

  • Arm/shoulder
  • Back
  • Hands/gloves
  • Standing/crouching
  • Whole-body

Here are four main areas exoskeletons can bolster the construction industry:

1. Enhance Productivity

Worker fatigue equals lost production and the more exhausted we are, the more injury-prone we become. Manufacturing and agriculture have increased productivity 10-15 times since the 1950s. The construction industry productivity numbers are the same as 80 years ago. Exoskeletons streamline the process and lessen transport delays. They also reduce downtime spent waiting for last-minute deliveries.

2. Provide Labor Shortage Solutions

Labor-saving exoskeletons can help one worker do the heavy lifting of a team. This optimizes social distancing but increases employment opportunities. Physical strength will play a less important role. Older, experienced employees can work longer. Smaller/underweight workers are no longer at a physical disadvantage.

3. Reduce Injury Risks

When cranes/hoists are too big, lifting heavy objects and materials in tight spaces requires people-power. Exoskeletons won’t give construction industry workers “superpowers,” but they can reduce fatigue, increase productivity, and lower injury risks.

4. Save Money

The numbers are impressive: An exoskeleton can increase per-worker productivity 4-8 times. And with injuries averaging $32,000 per incident, construction industry profit margins are often – to put it bluntly – a crapshoot.

What You Need To Know

All you need to know is everything. And it can be overwhelming. Construction Monitor’s support team ensures your data analytics are current and pertinent. Let us provide the lead-generation data that gives you an information edge in the construction industry. Contact Construction Monitor today.

Modern Construction Projects and Futuristic Materials

Modern Construction Projects

We have more materials choices for modern construction projects. And we’re developing better options for strength and longevity. It’s an exciting time!

Durability is the ability to last a long time without significant deterioration. A durable material helps the environment by conserving resources and reducing wastes and the environmental impacts of repair and replacement. –Portland Cement Association

Modern construction projects are already using technology to make better business choices. As the focus on more durable buildings and roadways increases, here are some of the materials we’ll see trending:

1. Cigarette-Butt Bricks

If you’re like many, seeing cigarette butts on the ground is disgusting. It pollutes the view and the ingredients (arsenic, cadmium, chromium, and nickel) contaminate the soil. Researchers are developing energy-efficient bricks using cigarette butts. The bricks are lighter and use less energy in the manufacturing process.

2. Concrete Admixtures

“A holistic view needs to be taken about concrete durability,” says NBM&CW magazine. Mineral admixtures are providing strength-driven solutions for HPC (high-performance concretes) and SCC (self-compacting concretes). Today’s typical concrete can have six or more ingredients.

3. Light-Generating Cement

This newly developed cement can absorb and generate light. The potential for this invention is huge.

4. Martian Concrete

Northwestern University is researching construction projects on Mars using available materials. And they’ve come up with a Martian concrete mixture using sulfur.

5. Pollution-Absorbing Bricks

It’s called the Breathe Brick and it sucks-in pollutants and releases filtered air. You’ll see these bricks incorporated into buildings’ ventilation systems.

6. Translucent Wood

This low-cost resource can be used for windows and solar panels. There will be many application ideas for translucent wood in modern construction projects.

Construction Monitor for Modern Construction Projects Leads

Technological solutions are driving business development for modern construction projects. Construction Monitor’s analytics are the most efficient, easy-to-use technological resource for thousands of companies nationwide. Contact Construction Monitor to learn why.

What Is Sustainable Construction?

Sustainable Construction

We talk a lot about “sustainability,” but do you know what it means? Today, it’s a combination of the two main definitions of the word.

Sustainability means to last; endure. It also means to exist for as long as possible without depleting natural resources and build in a way that maintains an ecological balance.

Prioritizing Sustainable Construction

Sustainability isn’t simply a nice goal. It’s a process, and one we need for future generations. The American Chemistry Council (ACC) drafted 3 guidelines for building designs and sustainable construction:

  1. Establishing “sustainable” building/product practices should include:
    • Open for all stakeholders
    • Based upon scientific facts 
    • Transparent
    • Up-to-date
  2. Energy efficiency and environmental performance should:
    • Focus on how individual components interact within the building system
    • Identify options to improve energy efficiency
    • Seek ways to reduce overall environmental effects
  3. Environmental considerations and energy efficiency should be balanced with:
    • Performance
    • Price
    • Product availability
    • Product safety

Real-World Sustainable Construction

We know when push comes to shove, the stakeholders in a construction project make the decisions about materials and methodologies. Fortunately for our planet, sustainable construction is more than admirable; it’s affordable.

With today’s technology, materials can be lightweight and cost less while promoting sustainability. Using recycled plastics and laminated timbers can cut our carbon footprint.

We can improve our methodologies, too. Other sustainable construction methods include:

  • Conserving energy
  • Constructing “green” buildings
  • Managing construction sites to improve the environment
    • No smoking
    • Onsite water filtration
    • Recycling bins
  • More precise materials measurements to reduce shortages (and leftovers)
  • Using less to reduce waste

Building Your Business

The future is now. Sustainable construction is a business direction you must take.

Successful construction industry companies embrace green building and technology. Construction Monitor has “big data” for your business, and it’s customized for where you are or where you want to be. For example, if you’re considering expanding sustainable construction options, we’ve got data for using solar as an alternative energy.

Contact Construction Monitor to learn more.